‘Mumbai admissions pointer to Pakistan’s terror problem’

February 14th, 2009 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 14 (IANS) Pakistan’s admissions on the Mumbai terror attack are a pointer to its terrorism problem that it is in “denial” of, a leading English newspaper said today.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s admission that part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan and the six men had been arrested for alleged involvement in the carnage “amount to a decisive response to the key political dimension of the Mumbai attacks, namely that Pakistan has a terrorism problem that it is in denial of”, Dawn said in an editorial.

But it added that the Pakistan government had shown its bonafides and “now the ball is firmly back in the political court of India”, added the editorial, headlined “Cooperation required”.

Legally, it noted, “much may depend on India’s cooperation in the days ahead if the government is to secure successful prosecutions in an anti-terrorism court”.

Holding that India should respond “as completely and quickly as it can”, it said: “Politically, India needs to now bring its rhetoric in line with the reality of a cooperative Pakistan; brinkmanship needs to be toned down in favour of a more conciliatory stance.

“The danger is that the upcoming general elections in India may tempt politicians to use Mumbai, and terrorism generally, as a stick to beat Pakistan with in order to appear tougher to a domestic audience,” the editorial maintained.

It also urged India to reconsider its decision to suspend the composite dialogue.

The decision, in the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai that claimed over 170 lives, “was reactionary and knee-jerk and showed no understanding of political reality.

“The composite dialogue is the only framework that has shown any promise for improving Pakistan-India relations. Indeed, the Mumbai attacks demonstrated the extreme urgency of developing the fledgling joint anti-terrorism mechanism which emerged from one of the baskets of the composite dialogue.

“Instead, India opted to fall back on the old position on terrorism of Pakistan as the perpetrator and India the victim. The problem is, the old victim/perpetrator dichotomy will make neither country safer in the long run,” the editorial contended.

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